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Internists issue heartfelt plea for Congress to help patients by stopping Medicare SGR cuts
Date:11/29/2010

(Washington) The American College of Physicians (ACP) today is sending a video to Congressional leaders and others that features internists speaking in their own words (http://www.acponline.org/advocacy/video/sgr.htm) issuing a heartfelt plea for Congress to avert the scheduled Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut and work toward putting an end to the repeated cycle of cuts. The 3-minute and 25-second video emphasizes how patients, in particular, will be hurt by the scheduled cuts.

The 23 percent physician payment cut is scheduled to take place on Dec. 1. Three times before in 2010, reprieves as brief as one month have staved off cuts before they could take effect with some being provided retroactively. While Congress continues to work toward a further delay of the cuts, lawmakers have yet to agree on a pathway toward repeal of the flawed SGR system once and for all.

In a blog last month (http://advocacyblog.acponline.org/2010/10/breaking-through-legislative-firewall.html), Robert B. Doherty, ACP senior vice president, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy pointed out:

It is especially hard to get your voices heard when it involves a recurring issue, like the Medicare SGR formula, where everything seemingly has been said so many times before. Lawmakers don't expect to hear anything new from constituents, and constituents get tired of sending yet another e-mail or letter, when it seems likely that the result is more of the same.

ACP, Doherty wrote, is trying a new way to break through to Congress. The video combines old-fashioned story-telling, e-mail, and the kind of video link popularized by YouTube.

"The video may not be as entertaining as standard YouTube fare," said J. Fred Ralston Jr. MD, FACP, president of ACP, "but I think it makes an extraordinarily heartf
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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